Olympians cruise past Panthers
These two words best describe Jim Thorpe’s 63-0 rout of Panther Valley Friday night.
In earning their third straight win, the Olympians registered their third straight shutout and now have outscored their opponents 147-0.
Looking at the statistics, one can guess the final score would be one-sided. Panther Valley rushed for minus-70 yards, much of that attributed to the Red Swarm’s six sacks and several snaps over the Panthers’ quarterback’s heads.
PV recorded just two first downs in the game, one coming on a Ethan Reis 31-yard catch-and-run play to Blake White. The Panthers farthest offensive advance of the ball was to midfield.
On offense, JT used 14 players to carry the ball, several who are wide receivers that also run from their spread formations.
“We like to spread the ball around,” said Jim Thorpe head coach Mark Rosenberger, who celebrated his birthday with the lopsided victory. “Defenses really can’t key on one back because we have such versatility. Our players know at some point, they’re going to get their number called and they have to be focused and ready to make the best of their opportunities.”
Thorpe’s first opportunity to score occurred before they ran a play from scrimmage. After a three-and-out on its first possession, PV punted from deep in its own territory to Jarrin Geisinger, who broke one tackle and then was untouched en route to a 32-yard touchdown. With less than two minutes gone by, the Olympians were on their way to a mercy-rule win.
“What else can I say except they were as advertised,” said PV coach Scott Price, whose Panthers fell to 1-2.
Thorpe would amass 332 yards on the ground, led by CJ Selby’s 90 yards. Quarterback Roberto Santiago threw only eight passes, but one was an 11-yard out-pattern touchdown to Derrick Beckham. Beckham would also score on a 6-yard run with just under five minutes to go in the half.
Six different players crossed the goal line, and as Rosenberger had mentioned, future opponents will have difficulty determining who’s getting the ball when JT is on offense.
In the second half with a running clock, Thorpe freshman Brandon Fasolino broke two long runs for touchdowns, giving him three in the last two weeks.
When asked if a one-sided game helps his team prepare for some strong teams upcoming on their schedule, Rosenberger said, “Every time we step onto the field, it’s an opportunity to get better. It’s about making plays and giving the effort to be successful in making those plays. We can always learn more and then try to put into practice to get better every day.”
Jim Thorpe certainly played a complete game scoring on nine drives. They had no turnovers and didn’t punt once. Selby’s zig-zag touchdown run of 48 yards was a thing of beauty, while Fasolino just flat outraced the Panthers’ pursuit to the goal line.
The Olympians travel to Kutztown next Friday night, while Panther Valley is away at Tamaqua.
TAKE THE PLAY ... Three times in the game when PV was called for penalties, Thorpe declined the yardage backward and took the play so as not to give the Panthers another down to move the ball with their offense.
REST STOP FOR REIS ... Early in the second quarter, Reis left the game with a leg injury. “He’s OK,” said Price. “I didn’t see reason to put him back in with the score being what it was.”
BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM ... Beckham, JT’s wide receiver/running back who transferred from Panther Valley to Thorpe, bent PV’s “D” in scoring two touchdowns against his former school.